Captain Kangaroo

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Captain Kangaroo is a children's television series which aired weekday mornings on the American television network CBS from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running children's television program of its day.[2][3] In 1986, the American Program Service (now American Public Television, Boston) integrated some newly-produced segments into reruns of past episodes, distributing the newer version of the series until 1993.

The show was conceived and the title character played by Bob Keeshan, who based the show on "the warm relationship between grandparents and children." Keeshan was the original Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show when it aired on NBC.

It had a loose structure, built around life in the "Treasure House" where the Captain (whose name came from the big pockets in his coat) would tell stories, meet guests and indulge in silly stunts with regular characters, both humans and puppets. The show was live for its first four years and was in black-and-white until 1968. The May 17, 1971 episode saw two major changes on the show; the Treasure House was renovated and renamed "The Captain's Place" and the Captain replaced his black coat with a red coat. In September 1981, CBS shortened the hour-long show to a half-hour and briefly retitled it "Wake Up" and moved it to an earlier time-slot, but when the show moved back to weekends in September 1982 it was back to an hour-long format. It was canceled by CBS at the end of 1984.

In the TV season of 1997–1998, an All New Captain Kangaroo was attempted by Saban Entertainment. John McDonough played the Captain. It was shot in Tampa, Florida. Keeshan was invited to appear as a special guest called "The Admiral," but after seeing sample episodes, he declined to appear or have any association with the new incarnation. It ran for one season and inspired a spin-off, Mister Moose's Fun Time.

Contents

Cast

  • Bob Keeshan as Captain Kangaroo
  • Hugh Brannum as Mr. Green Jeans, the New Old Folk Singer, Percy, Uncle Backwards, Mr. McGregor, and Mr. Bainter the Painter
  • Cosmo Allegretti as Mr. Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Moose (both of which he also created), Dennis the Apprentice, Miss Frog, Mr. Whispers, Dancing Bear, Grandfather Clock, Uncle Ralph, was the voice of Aniforms puppet TV Fred (a live-action on-screen puppet that appeared behind the blackboard in the Treasure House)[4],and was the artist behind the Magic Drawing Board
  • Sam Levine as the The Banana Man; the character was created by Adolph Proper (1886–1950).[5][6]
  • Bill Cosby as himself, the host of the Picture Pages segment (1980–1984)
  • Debbie Weems as Debbie (1973–1977) and provided the voice for the puppet character Baby Duck
  • James Wall as Mr. Baxter (1968–1978)
  • Carolyn Mignini as Kathy and other female roles (1981–1993)
  • Kevin Clash as the puppet character Artie (1980–1984) and as himself and acted in many of the sketches
  • John Burstein as Slim Goodbody (1976–1980)
  • Bill McCutcheon as Mr. Homan (1965–1966)

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